What is a Safe Trade Zone or Internet Exchange Location?
A safe trade zone or internet exchange location is a place where online buyers and sellers meet, usually located in a police station parking lot or Chamber of Commerce. This is a great way to stay safe while buying or selling using online tools such as Facebook Market Place or Craigslist. Trade zones are completely free, however if it is offered by an indoor facility it will be subject to that organizations “office hours”.
Typically there are:
- 24 hour surveillance cameras to monitor the parking lot/office
- Set hours during which transactions should take place
- No guns, illegal or legal drugs/items allowed
- Buyers/Sellers should not come with suspicious clothing that hides one’s identity.
What if I can’t meet up at a Safe Trade Zone?
The Safe Trade program recognizes that selling large furniture or a play structure might not be practical in some safe trade locations. If you can’t meet there, Safe Trade recommends:
- Meet at a police station where you can exchange and photocopy each other’s’ identification papers, such as a driver’s license. Do NOT carry cash to this location.
- Photocopy the license or identification paper, or use your phone to photograph it.
- Email the ID information to a friend, or to someone trusted (not to yourself).
- If you’re selling at home, or going to someone’s home, never be outnumbered. If you’re at home, make sure you have two or three people there — and tell the person who is coming that you will have others with you. There’s some safety in numbers.
- At home or an apartment, NEVER let someone go anywhere unaccompanied. Not even to the bathroom. Always make sure they are escorted.
- Never let more than one group come to your home at one time to buy or sell
No matter where you make a trade or sale, it is never a good idea to make it obvious that you are carrying a large sum of cash, and you should make certain that when you leave you are not being followed.